The world of artificial intelligence has evolved rapidly over the years and it’s interesting to see how Human-in-the-Loop systems continue to play an integral role in algorithms implemented by Instagram and other social networks along with the world as a whole.

Looking at having the ability to add Topics to Instagram reels in particular, what’s the reasoning behind it and how does this functionality create value? We’ll explain.

First and foremost, going back to research we compiled over the past 15+ years on Search Engine Optimization (SEO), the approach to stuffing Instagram posts with hashtags is no different than old school SEO that used shady tactics to hopefully (fingers crossed) game Google without getting penalized.

Fast forward, AI is taking over and the elementary tactics that produced results on the surface are being phased out in favor of more intelligent, strategic initiatives. And by putting on our tinfoil AI hat we recognized a few things.

Number one, this is clearly a test Instagram/Meta is running to hopefully gather better user feedback in a way that continues to improve their deep learning algorithms. Essentially, choose 3 main Topics this Reel falls under, which will be analyzed using a blend of AI (NLP, image recognition, etc.) to gauge the accuracy and potential amplification.

Secondly, this is a sign that hashtags – similar to stuffing keywords – will be replaced by more intelligent solutions like Google launching their MUM algorithm that takes a multi-modal approach to delivering the best search results using AI.

Lastly, this is an epic step in the right direction where Instagram recognized the challenges they faced around trying to understand content related to millions if not billions of hashtags when determining the visibility of Reels, and that became a science project of epic proportions that led to solutions.

Instagram is making moves and we’re excited for what’s to come. We’ll be sharing more insights soon.